Would somebody please save Hockeyblogs.org?
Believe it or not, it's hard to find original, independent blog content in the age of social media. While friends and colleagues will promote content they like through Facebook or on Twitter, perhaps on Reddit and maybe, just maybe, Google Plus. But all of those avenues of content promotion have something in common that is a hindrance - noise. Major media sources, bloggers, friends, fans, they're not always devoted to the topic of hockey or promoting hockey related content. And why should they? There is life besides the sport in social media. Heck, there are other interests to follow that have nothing to do with the sport, and that factors in to your news feed too.
There's also the aspect of dependence on connections with regards to how far, socially, promoted content goes. A single follower with the right connections who retweets an article or a blog post on Twitter (or share's a link on Facebook) can translate into a viral storm. Most of the time though, it doesn't happen.
It used to be a lot different though. It used to be that blogs didn't have the social means to syndicate their content. Even when Facebook started being open to the general public in the mid 00's, it didn't have the "share" function as we know it today. Posting links to blogs came off as an annoyance more than a means of syndication.
The means of finding content used to be simple, real simple syndication, or RSS. It's not a highlighted feature on blogs and major media any more but it still exists and it has its advantage of content promotion without idle chatter and noise.
It's part of the reason why I used to love and hang out on Hockeyblogs.org.
Part of a larger sports blog aggregation network, Hockey Blogs syndicates RSS feeds of NHL blogs for NHL teams and general hockey coverage. Bloggers would register their sites with the network and their content would be syndicated to those who viewed the site. It was a great tool to utilize (both as a blogger and as a reader) early in the history of hockey blogging.
Hockeyblogs.org is still around, still in operation, but the site has been neglected for some years now. I'm not even sure if anyone in charge is monitoring it any more. Realignment hasn't been factored in to the listing of teams, the Anaheim Ducks are still "Mighty" and the Atlanta Thrashers have not been changed to the Winnipeg Jets. While there are plenty of blogs by-team registered with the site, it would seem than many of those sites have gone the way of the dodo, making a need for a directory purge.
There have got to be other RSS syndication sites out there, but this one is special to me just because of how much I personally adored it when I started blogging. It was an escape during the 2004-05 NHL lockout because, while it looked like there was nothing hockey related out there to read, Hockey Blogs proved otherwise.
Technology and the greater blogosphere have moved forward over the years, but I really wish this simple tool was still being embraced by both its administrator and the fans like it used to be.